Maine lobster-licensing system under evaluation
Portland, Maine-based Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) on Tuesday announced that it is evaluating the state’s limited-entry lobster-licensing system at the behest of the state’s legislature.
Commissioned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the “independent and objective examination” of the system’s efficacy and an offering of alternative solutions will be released by 15 October for the state legislature to consider in January.
“A lot has changed since the limited-entry lobster system was created 10 years ago,” said Alexa Dayton, GMRI training and outreach community program manager. “People without licenses are now facing extremely long waiting lists, while many license holders are trying to figure out how to retire without losing the non-transferrable licenses needed by family businesses.”
The project will evaluate the impact of the current system on all members of the lobster industry, Maine communities and lobster stocks.
Confidential written surveys were mailed to more than 7,000 license holders, apprentices and individuals on the waiting list this week. Additionally, a series of public listening sessions is being held around the state in August and early September. At least one public meeting will be held per lobster zone, including gatherings at Vinalhaven, Wiscasset, Deer Isle, Rockland, Machias, Ellsworth, Yarmouth and Scarborough.